Its rock is gneiss and climbing is mostly technical face with crimps and some slab, sometimes offering ragged cracks. Its summit can be reached by trail and short via ferrata, and there's even a boulder on its summit. The face is 180m high from the lowest point on the north face to its summit.
The mountain has a few dozen routes, sport and trad, and counting, since there's still potential for opening new ones. Most of them require the use of removable protection, but the most classic and easiest ones can be climbed fully in fixed gear.
Bau seen from Ana Chata summit.By car
Coming from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro access is by Via Dutra (up to Taubaté), SP-123 (up to 046-SP) and SP-173.
The carrier Pássaro Marrom has two daily buses that serve the town of Sao Bento do Sapucai, the line is Sao Paulo-Brasopolis (Passaro Marrom
). By January 2014 tickets are around R$ 41 (US$ 17) one way.
Reaching the base of the routes
There are two trails that access the mountain. The trail that acesses the south face and the sport routes is the same used to access Bauzinho and Pedra do Bau
, and it will be longer. The trail to access trad lines is a 20-40 min (depends on your pace) uphill from Chico Bento's parking lot (a local resident). To reach his house, take the road to Paiol neighborhood from downtown, and turn right at Ana Chata road (there are signs).
Park your car, enter a property (never forget to close the gates behind you), and follow the trail to the right of a barbed wire fence. You will pass a tub with running water, take the trail to your left, and enter the woods. From there the trail splits several times but most of them end up at the base of the routes. Only exception is if you stop seeing the mountain in front of you – if you do so, turn around, walk back and take a right anywhere.
WARNING: Although not a super challenging mountain, Ana Chata has seen some of the most notorious climbing accidents and climbing related deaths in the area, most related to hurried retreats due to bad weather approaching. Even if if you take an easy route, please watch your procedures, be safe, and always check the weather reports. These mountains attract lightning, and storms in the Mantiqueira range tend to be furious to say the least.
Beware of the huge wasps in its upper cracks. Their stings are legendary.
Some classic lines bellow. Most of the routes have double bolted anchors. For more information on routes, please refer to the region's only printed climbing guide written by Eliseu Frechou, and available for sale at his small store (see the link for Montanhismus bellow). For more up to date information, you must consult with local climbers as there has been increasing activity in opening new routes.
Trad - North Face
- Peter Pan
5.8. - 3 to 4 pitches. Probably the most classic route on the mountain. Fixed protection. To reach the summit you must climb the last 2 pitches of Lixeiros. Crowded with beginners during winter weekends.
- Cidade Deserta
5.9 A2 - 3 pitches. A famous aid line. Bring nuts, friends, TCUs, cliffs and 2 ropes for rappelling. To reach the summit you must climb the last 2 pitches of Lixeiros.
5.9 - 6 pitches. Has a proeminent crack system. Although it has fixed protection, it can be climbed with friends and nuts. One of the longest routes due to its zig-zaging line. Watch out for wasps in the traverse. The last two pitches are climbed over knife edge fins that are very exposed with little to no protection.
- Tom Sawyer
5.8. A short 2-pitch route that eventually gives you 3 options to the summit: Lixeiros, or two other 3-pitch routes of about 5.11. This route follows a crack system and can be done with camalots only, anchors are bolted.
5.9. - 5 to 7 pitches. Another classic, mixed protection route, with a beautiful open and overhanging dihedral in its fourth pitch. Nuts are preferred here since the dihedral edge is very irregular and ragged. Probably the longest route on the mountain.
Trad - South Face
- Walking on the Dark Side
5.10d A1 - 2 pitches. Seldom climbed but interesting route.
Sport - South Face
- Assunto Pendente 5.12d 5 bolts, bring pros
- Ideafix 5.10d 2 bolts, bring pros
- Obelix 5.11c 2 bolts, bring pros
- Arteryx 5.11c 4 bolts, bring pros
Where to stay
Because approaches are so short, nobody camps in the area, aside from most if not all the area surrounding being private property.
There are several inns in the town, and a few climber's huts as well.
The most well known is Montanhismus
, owned and operated by renowned brazilian big wall climber Eliseu Frechou. There's also a small store in site with discounts, blems and closeout apparel and equipment.
Another option is Nativus
, owned by local climber Marcelo Iron who can give info on several routes and crags in the area.
When to Climb
Being part of the Mantiqueira range, it receives a lot of humidity and precipitation during summer season (October through April). Ana Chata can be visited year around for activities such as hiking, but for rock climbing it is ideal to go between May and September (Brazilian winter), when temperatures are lower, the sun is not as strong, and precipitation is at its minimum. Temperatures in the area can reach freezing levels in July.